May 21, 2008

Getting Ripped Off from the Inside - Podcast TMA

This installment’s topic is a practice management headache no physicians or office managers want to imagine could happen to them. We’re talking about embezzlement … getting ripped off from the inside … how to prevent it and how to treat it if it does show up in your practice.

Download the show now.

This topic and related practice operations problems are covered in our free e-book, TMA Practice E-Tips Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. “Cash transactions, especially,” the e-book warns, “offer temptation to those with a penchant for pilfering.”

Our guests in this installment are two of Texas Medical Association’s expert staff members. Peggy Pringle is the director of TMA Practice Consulting. With practice management experience, knowledge of best practices, and access to TMA’s tools and resources, a TMA consultant can provide customized solutions specific to your practice.

Jeppe Gustin-Ross is TMA’s associate vice president for human resources. Jeppe is a frequent speaker at TMA practice management seminars and an expert in personnel law and tactics.

This Podcast TMA is relatively short – we thought about calling it a “mini-cast” – but packed with answers to important questions:


  • What do we know about the embezzlement problem? How big is it? Who is most at risk?

  • One way to prevent being ripped off from the inside is to hire good, honest people up front.

  • How can physicians make good recruitment decisions?

  • What steps should physicians take to protect themselves?

  • How can a practice detect if someone is actually stealing from the inside?

  • What do physicians need to know about terminating a staff member they suspect of embezzling the practice?




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May 19, 2008

Capital BCBS Settlement Deadlines Near

You have until June 30 to file a claim for reimbursement in the settlement of the federal antiracketeering lawsuit against Blue Cross and its subsidiaries, Capital Advantage Insurance Companies and Keystone Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield …

Capital BCBS Settlement Deadlines Near
(Larry)
5/13/2008 7:00 PM

Speak Up for Medicare Reform

With a 10-6-percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians looming on July 1, physicians need to let Congress know that passage of the Save Medicare Act of 2008 (S. 2785) is critical for physicians and their patients.  Call the American Medical …

Speak Up for Medicare Reform
(Larry)
5/13/2008 7:00 PM

Blue Cross Ratings 'Deceptive and Invalid'

BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas' BlueChoice Solutions physician-rating system does not use an accurate or independently validated method to determine a physician's risk-adjusted cost. That, combined with other problems with the program, "renders the …

Blue Cross Ratings 'Deceptive and Invalid'
(Larry)
5/13/2008 7:00 PM

Alert! NPI Required on May 23

Starting May 23, all claims for reimbursement must carry your National Provider Identifier (NPI) or they will be rejected. This includes claims for Medicare, Medicaid, or any commercial health insurance plan.

Alert! NPI Required on May 23
(Larry)
5/12/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Fines Silent PPO

State insurer regulators have taken action against a silent PPO, fining Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. $8,000 for inappropriate physician discounts on claims.

TDI Fines Silent PPO
(Larry)
5/7/2008 7:00 PM

Delegates Tackle Tough Issues

The TMA House of Delegates efficiently dispatched an immense agenda at TexMed 2008 in San Antonio.

Delegates Tackle Tough Issues
(Shari)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

Partner With the John P. McGovern Foundation!

The John P. McGovern Foundation in Houston, a longtime supporter of the TMA Foundation's work, has pledged to match the first $10,000 in contributions to the 2008 Star/Superstar campaign.

Partner With the John P. McGovern Foundation!
(Shari)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

New Leaders Take Over

Josie R. Williams, MD, was sworn in as TMA's 143rd president during TexMed 2008; William H. Fleming III, MD, was selected as president-elect.

New Leaders Take Over
(Shari)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

Top-Selling Medical Reference Free Online

The best-selling medical title in the world now is available free to TMA members in a completely revised and updated 17th edition.

Top-Selling Medical Reference Free Online
(Larry)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

DSHS Issues Heparin Warning

Department of State Health Services (DSHS) officials say vials of recalled heparin were found during a routine health facility inspection in Texas, even though several manufacturers and distributors of heparin products recalled them. The recalls were made …

DSHS Issues Heparin Warning
(Larry)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

EMTALA Study Group Releases Report

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) Technical Advisory Group has made its final report to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. HHS established the group to examine EMTALA's impact on medical care.

EMTALA Study Group Releases Report
(Larry)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

Use Your NPI on Prescriptions

If the pharmacists have their way, your patients may not receive their medications unless you put your National Provider Identifier (NPI) on the prescription your write. Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) does not require it, go …

Use Your NPI on Prescriptions
(Larry)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

TMA Defends Physicians' Scope of Practice

TMA attorneys have told two state regulatory boards that the people they regulate should go to medical school if they want to practice medicine. At issue is an attempt by chemical dependency counselors and marriage and family counselors to expand their …

TMA Defends Physicians' Scope of Practice
(Larry)
5/4/2008 7:00 PM

Comptroller Extends Franchise Tax Deadline

Physicians and other businesses have more time to file their state franchise tax returns or seek a filing extension without having to pay a penalty.

Comptroller Extends Franchise Tax Deadline
(Andrea)
4/21/2008 7:00 PM

TDI Memo Addresses Workers' Comp Denials

The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers' Compensation says it has received complaints that some insurance carriers and billing review companies are improperly denying payment for medical services because of lack of documentation.

TDI Memo Addresses Workers' Comp Denials
(Shari)
4/13/2008 7:00 PM

Personal Health Records: What You Need to Know

The prospect of electronic personal health records has left some physicians with the disconcerting vision of patients handing over a disk filled with decades of lab results and recollections of random sprains and strains that they'll have to comb through …

Personal Health Records: What You Need to Know (Shari) 4/13/2008 7:00 PM

May 7, 2008

FREE E-book: TMA Practice E-Tips Greatest Hits, Vol. 1



Volume 1: Practice Operations: Embezzlement, complaints, good hiring, and more.

Who can better help you manage your practice than the experts at the Texas Medical Association? From tons of free advice for members to outstanding seminars and publications to our top-rated consulting team, TMA’s range of practice management services is unsurpassed.

For the past eight years, we’ve been packaging nuggets of this vital information into TMA Practice E-Tips, a free, bimonthly e-mail newsletter for TMA member physicians and their office staff. TMA Practice E-Tips provides inside advice and practical solutions for managing a successful medical practice. Each edition provides hands-on, use-it-now advice on coding, billing, reimbursement, HIPAA compliance, office policies and procedures, practice marketing, and much more, along with useful links for additional information.

Although we catalogue and stockpile each e-tip on the TMA Web site, it really bothers us that so much great advice and information may be going unused — and just at a time when Texas physicians need all the help they can get. That’s why we sent our staff digging through the archives to find the very best e-tips for our Greatest Hits series.

And … we’re sitting our experts down in front of the microphone to record special installments of Podcast TMA to accompany each Greatest Hits publication’s special topic:


  • Vol. 1: Practice operations


  • Vol. 2: Medical records and privacy


  • Vol. 3: Coding


  • Vol. 4: Medicare

If it’s from TMA, you know it’s good for your practice.


Sincerely,



David Fleeger, MD
Chair, TMA Council on Practice Management Services